I’m a Spokane native and a resident of the city for more than 30 years, living primarily in Spokane’s Northeast neighborhoods. Raised in the Nevada-Lidgerwood neighborhood where my parents George and Rita Waldref still live, I attended St. Patrick’s School in Hillyard and Gonzaga Prep. Today I live in the Logan neighborhood with my husband, Gonzaga Prep chemistry teacher Tom Flanagan and our two daughters, Karolina and Nora.
Following graduation from Gonzaga Prep, I attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and eventually moved to Seattle, where I worked as an organizer and advocate for public involvement in the extensive cleanup of the highly contaminated Hanford Nuclear Reservation. During this time, I completed my master’s degree at Antioch University.
In 2003 I felt called to return to Spokane and put my education and experience to work for the people of the city. Since that time I have been an active volunteer in many civic activities, including working to protect historic buildings with Spokane Preservation Advocates, going door-to-door in support of funding STA and healthcare access with the Spokane Alliance, and advocating for implementation of the city’s Comprehensive Plan with the Neighborhood Alliance.
Better information equals better decisions
I partnered with educational and social agencies, including Eastern Washington University and the United Way, to develop the Spokane Community Indicators Initiative, which aims to create a healthier, more vibrant community by using data to identify needs, priorities, and opportunities for economic, social, and environmental progress. I’m a founding board member of Priority Spokane, an organization that is using this data to drive programs that have greatly increased high school graduation rates in Spokane schools.
From 2004 until December 2009 I devoted my time to The Lands Council, a local nonprofit striving to protect forests, water, wildlife and people’s health in the Inland Northwest. I’ve been a strong advocate for protecting the Spokane River and developed grant resources and community partnerships to keep Spokane’s children safe from toxics in our environment.
For several years I was an active member of the Logan Neighborhood Council and have served as its vice chair. I am a founding board member of the Faith and Environment Network and an active member and volunteer at St. Aloysius Catholic Church. I’m also a graduate of the Leadership Spokane Class of 2008.
Progress informed by wide-ranging experience
In my time as an elected representative, I have sought to bring my experience as a long-time resident, community leader, neighborhood advocate and mother to the Spokane City Council. As a City Council member, I have served on the Spokane Transit Authority Board, the Spokane Regional Health District Board, Growth Management Steering Committee, as liaison to the City Plan Commission and the Community Assembly, on the Planning Community and Economic Development Committee, the Public Works Committee, Public Safety Committee, Finance Committee, and many other efforts.
Please click here to read about my accomplishments as your City Councilmember.